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2011 Toyota Camry LE Review - VIDEO ENHANCED

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2011 Toyota Camry


SEE ALSO: Compare Specs, Reviews and Prices - Toyota Buyers Guide
SEE ALSO: Is A Toyota Your Perfect Match?

SPECIFICATIONS: 2011 Toyota Camry LE

Model: 2011 Toyota Camry LE
Engine: 2.5-liter I4
Horsepower/Torque: 169 hp @ 6,000 rpm/167 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 109.3 in.
Length/Width/Height: 189.2 x 71.7 x 57.9 in.
Tires: P215/60R16 (temporary spare)
Cargo volume: 15.0 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/27.4-28.7 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gal.
Curb weight: 3,351 lbs.
Sticker: $23,735 (includes $750 delivery, processing and handling fee; $1,110 in options and $225 extra value package discount)

The Bottom Line: If you're looking for a vehicle that's comfortable, safe and still looks good heading down the highway, you can't go wrong with the Toyota Camry. It won't win any drag races with the 4-cyinder engine, but it also won't break the bank when you have to buy gas.

I was sitting in my favorite restaurant, Sweet Memories in Emmaus, Pa., talking about the car of the week, a Toyota Camry. Considering the menu, I realized the Camry was just like meat loaf (the food, not the singer); it's basic, "comfort food-like" and leaves you with a good feeling when you're done with it.

"And it won't kill you," chimed in my daughter, who credits the Camry's structural integrity with the fact that she received only minor whiplash injuries when she was rear-ended by a speeding Mustang in her Camry.

Here is a car with very good road manners and the type of performance that won't win any races, but also won't tempt you into doing something stupid when you're behind the wheel.

The inline four-cylinder engine is quiet for a four and delivers a comfortable 169 horsepower. The Camry delivers a quiet ride most of the time. The only bogey is that road noise is transmitted into the cabin; when you're on concrete you know it, but when you're on asphalt, there's a quiet ride.

Handling is in the same league as the power. It's good, but not great. However, if you're not the type of person who attacks every curve as if it's the Maison Rouge at LeMans, then you'll be perfectly satisfied with the Camry.

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Front seats are comfortable and the rear seats offer good legroom. The rear seat back releases are located at the top of the trunk opening. There's a good-sized trunk. I can't believe the amount of stuff we carried from Virginia to Pennsylvania.

On that long trip we were pleased with the audio system and its options. We had AM/FM/CD/and satellite radio. There's also an AUX input, but no USB. The tone quality was very good, but I had trouble finding my favorite XM station.

I remember a few years back when BMW introduced the trunk "hump" and several auto journalists complained. Well folks, everyone has them now, including Toyota and the Camry. I never found fault with the design and guess it adds something to trunk volume. Personally, I like the "hump" more than faux spoilers that are useless in a front-wheel drive car.

Interior styling includes a nice drawer in the dash to the left of the steering wheel that is great for a cell phone, change or what have you.

The only problem we had with the Camry was a slight chirping of the tires on acceleration. We didn't get it every time, but it was often enough to be a pain.

I was impressed with the economy, but it should have been good with a four-cylinder engine. We averaged more than 27 mpg overall, and nearly 29 mpg on our highway run. While this isn't in the 40 mpg range, it's perfectly adequate for meat loaf.

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate